The Costa Blanca: light and life in countryside of contrasts
The Costa Blanca is one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Europe. Travelling along the Costa Blanca you will find a world of spectacular contrasts, with fishing villages almost hidden away along the coast and large towns which are bursting with life.
Along its 160 kilometres of coast beside the Mediterranean, the Costa Blanca has hundreds of different cities and countryside just waiting to be discovered. Denia, in the north of the province of Alicante, located between rocks and long sandy beaches, surrounds the traveller with its narrow streets and seafaring atmosphere. Nearby, two capes protect Jávea from the winds, and having had a swim in its crystal clear waters, you can walk through the historic centre of the town for a taste of history. Further south, beneath the impressive Peñón de Ifach, the highest cliff on the Mediterranean, we find Calpe, where its historic past is present in the streets which are alive with people and filled with opportunities of trying the local cooking. The same can be said for Altea, which is located in a bay in the shelter of the mountains. It is like a picture postcard with its white houses and the blue dome of its church shining in the clear morning sunlight.
A long beach of golden sand lies before the skyscrapers of Benidorm. Every year, millions of people arrive to enjoy its micro-climate, its kilometres of beaches and its infrastructures which are centred on leisure activities. The city is full of life and is one of the tourist epicentres of the Mediterranean. Passing through Villajoyosa and the brightly coloured façades of its houses, we arrive at Alicante, the 'City of Light', and capital of the province. Alicante has a wide offer of cultural and artistic activities waiting to be discovered. Between the sea and the city is the Explanada promenade, with its thousands of red, black and cream mosaic tiles, and if we pass though the old city centre we'll reach the castle of Santa Bárbara, from where we will have an incomparable panoramic view.
Following the coast, it is worth stopping off at Santa Pola, an old Iberian fort and currently an important fishing centre. Further south, amongst the marshes, the tourist resort of Torrevieja waits with its nostalgic émigrés. And at the other end of the Costa Blanca, Pilar de la Horadada welcomes lovers of nature in its purest state
Inland, amongst the high mountains, fields and forests there are many surprising and varied villages and towns. In Elche, our senses will be stimulated as we stroll through the largest palm grove in Europe and experience its fiestas of the Misteri, both of which have been declared part of the World Heritage. And in Orihuela, you can discover its gothic, renaissance and baroque buildings.
The gastronomy on the Costa Blanca never fails to impress the traveller. Its rice dishes, fish and seafood, its fresh vegetables, fruits and exquisite wines go together to make an explosion of tastes and menus all based on the so-called Mediterranean diet.
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